WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) – UPDATE: The Waterloo School Board Monday night voted unanimously to approve the $15.6 million renovation project._______________
At Monday night’s meeting, the Waterloo School Board will vote on whether to approve a $15.6 million renovation project.
The project would modernize the Waterloo Career Center, which is housed inside of Central Middle School. It will also add another floor of classrooms, cutting edge equipment, and 10 new interest areas for students to partake in.
“What we’re trying to do is create a place where students can be engaged, and have an opportunity to be exposed to, and really work hands on in career areas that are of high interest to them, high need for workers, and ultimately long lasting for them,” Executive Director of Professional Technical Education Jeff Frost said. “We’re going to take a 1972 building and open it up. We’re going to create classroom space that is flexible, we’re going to create classrooms that are definitely 21st century, and have the best cutting edge modern best practice equipment and technology needed.”
The center is in its second year. Originally officials wanted a building of its own, but after a bond vote failed, they decided to renovate the extra space at Central Middle. Frost said the renovations are needed due to the demand in the workforce and the high interest of students.
“Right now were looking at informational technology stuff, anything tied to technology is a very hot field, absolutely an area we know is going to be big is construction, residential construction,” Frost said. “I think for so long education has kind of pushed this idea that to be successful you need a four year college degree, we know that there are so many successful jobs out there that maybe require certification or a few years of education beyond high school, or even in some cases our goal is to give certification and college credit where they can actually leave here, ready for the work field."
Frost said the center is already planning four new areas for next school year. He said those will be announced soon.
If approved, the project will be put on over two winter sessions with expected completion in 2021.